1. bookVolume 11 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)
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Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
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16 Apr 2016
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English
access type Open Access

The Postpartum Tradition of Sawa Mahina in Rural Punjab, Pakistan

Published Online: 13 Jul 2017
Volume & Issue: Volume 11 (2017) - Issue 1 (June 2017)
Page range: 127 - 150
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The Punjabi postpartum tradition is called sawa mahina (‘five weeks’). This study investigates infant health care belief practices in rural Punjab and looks at the social significance of infant care beliefs practiced during sawa mahina. During six months of fieldwork, using participant observation and unstructured interviews as primary research methods, the study explored the prevalent postpartum tradition from a childcare perspective. A Punjabi child holds a social value regarding familial, religious, and emotional values. The five-week traditional postpartum period provides an insight into mother-child attachment, related child care belief practices, and the social construction of infancy. A child’s agency is recognised in the embodied mother-child relationship, and a child is seen in a sympathetic connection with the mother. Establishing an early foundation of ascribed identities is another important part of postpartum belief practices.

Keywords

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